Getting Settled

After several delays we finally got to our house in Costa Rica at about 12:30am on June 2nd.  Our sweet relocation friend, Geovanna, met us at our new house with the keys.  I think that we were all really surprised that it actually worked out.  All 6 of us and all but one of our bags made it without much complication. (*Story later) Despite having never flown, Blue, did awesome.  He made it through 3 hours at the Memphis airport, a 1 hour flight to Atlanta, about 9 hours in the Atlanta airport and another almost 4 hour flight to CR.  We did get some strange looks at the airport and he might have wondered what in the world we were doing but we made it!!! And yes, they do have doggie relief areas in the airport, although he refused to use them.

We still had no furniture so we slept on air mattresses for the next little while, played more cards and did some swimming in the community pool. We checked out the local walmart, celebrated Benson’s actual birthday, enjoyed the workout room and watched some Netflix.  Did you know “Full House” is on netflix in CR?

I really expected to not drive here for a while because, frankly it is a little scary.  There are no addresses just destinations.  Thank goodness for the Waze app.  I needed to do some grocery shopping so I actually drove the second day that we were here.  It hasn’t been as scary as I expected. Well, the kids may disagree.

They even have a store like Sams here called Pricemart.  The kids and I had to check it out and great news, they have pizza, hot dogs and soda!  It’s the little things that make us feel at home.  IMG_E9226We have enjoyed the community soccer field and splash pad as well.  We have even made a few new friends in the neighborhood.

 

We are very thankful for face time and Whatsapp.  We have been able to keep in touch with friends and family.  I remember my kids saying that one of the first mornings they were here that they facetimed their cousins in Nashville for 3 straight hours. I try to limit their screen time but I can’t tell them no when it comes to talking to their cousins! Here are a few pictures from their ends of those talks.

I can’t say enough how proud I am of the kids for how they have dealt with this transition.  I am hoping that we will all look back, very soon, and laugh about this time with no furniture and few belongings.

*Blake Leigh realized that she didnt have her ipad the Saturday morning that we arrived in CR.  We looked and looked for it and couldnt find it.  We also realized that her backpack was missing.  We knew we had it on the way home so our fear was that we left it in the taxi.  Nathan called our friend Geovanna and even though it is not in her job description she called the CR airport and was able to locate it.  We drove to the airport tha next day and surprisingly it was still in that taxi.  It had been driven all over for 2 days and no one had stolen it.  Blake was very happy and I doubt she lets it out of her site ever again.

Clarification

fullsizeoutput_17ec.jpegThanks to House Hunters International, Costa Rica edition, I think I need to clarify exactly where we are living.  We are not on the water or even that close to the beach.  There are a lot of beautiful beaches in Costa Rica but we are about 2 hour at the least from the closest one.

We are living just outside San Jose in the San Rafael area in the Alajuela province.  We ARE hoping to explore ALL of the beautiful beaches around us but for now we are just suburbanites like we were in Bartlett.

Moving Day

We loaded up 4 vehicles with about 20 suitcases and bags and 16 people and met at Gibson’s Donuts on the morning of the move.  When we first moved to Memphis Nathan used to take Benson for donuts every saturday morning at Gibsons.  It is a special place.  Little did we know that it was National Donut Day and there would be a hundred people in line!  We made it through and it was totally worth it.

From there we went to the airport. I had really been praying for a positive goodbye and It really could not have been any more perfect.  There was a lot of laughter.  How could there not be?  We had 15 people, 1 emotional support dog and 20+ bags.  After we finally got all the bags unloaded and all the cars parked we had a circle prayer and said our goodbyes, or as I liked to say our “see you laters.”

I wasnt quite prepared for this goodbye.  My brother. We have been through a lot together and we can get a little sappy.  We both bawled like babies at each others weddings and I think we have been saving it up since then.  It was really hard to leave him.  He and his family dropped everything to come help us do the dirty work those last few days in Memphis.  He kept saying how proud he was of me and that is all anyone ever wants to hear.  He wasnt saying I’ll miss you so much or your husband is a jerk for moving you.  He was just saying I am proud of you and I love you.

All of the “see you laters” were hard.  It probably wont even really hit me for a while but I am looking forward to them visiting starting with my parents in September, My mother-in-law in October and my brother-in-law in November.  When we finally got though security our family was still there.  Still supporting all the way.  There is a really cool picture of us leaving that I have posted on social media but what you don’t see is the mirror image of that picture is this…..img_91131.jpg

Last few days in Memphis

Our last few days in Memphis were a lot of fun. Stressful but fun.  We decided a great way to wrap up our time here would be going to the Justin Timberlake concert.  My brother and his family came in town to go to the concert with us and spend some time together.

The concert was great and so was the time with family.  My sweet in-laws helped with the kids so we could have some grown-up time.  IMG_8968The day before we left we closed on our house.  It was very bittersweet.  We were ready to be in our new home but it is so hard to leave our home here.  We love Chuck and Michelle.  Not only as our realtors but as friends. IMG_9025The night before we left we had My family, including my precious grown-up niece, Jordyn, my neighbor Miss Linda over for dinner and we also celebrated Benson’s upcoming birthday.  We had 13 people sleeping in our empty house that night.  It was very upbeat and fun.

We had a lot of fun but we also had a lot of work to do.  I had the best help.  My brother, sister-in-law, Rebecca, my parents, and my in-laws were great.

Wrapping Things Up

Our last couple of weeks in Memphis was kind-of a whirlwind.  We needed to finish up the school year, spend time with friends and have some great parties.

The kids finished the school year up with great grades, despite the major changes they were going through.

Sloane finished her first year of hip hop with a great recital.IMG_8666I had some great time with friends.

Special time with family

We had a few going away parties.  Shelli Sewell did a reception at the church.  The College/Young Adult group that we have helped with had one for us and Nathan’s office in Memphis had one too.

It was really neat for the kids to hear all of the nice things that Nathans Co-workers said about him.  We definitley feel the love and are grateful that people took time to make us feel special.  Here are just a few more pictures of our time with friends.

 

 

Our Extended Family

I get asked a lot “how are your families dealing with this?” Well, if I had to summarize in one sentence it would be supportive but sad.  My mother-in-law used the word sappy, sad and happy.

We really tried to tell our parents in person but when we told them both separately via text that we needed to talk they both knew that something was up.  My mother-in-law just wrote back to Nathan “are you guys moving to Costa Rica?” He then called her and his dad and they had a great conversation.  They were proud of him and this huge honor but there were sad at the same time.

When I tried to get a sit down visit set up with my parents I think they assumed something was major wrong and wanted to talk immediately.  I had to tell them on the phone too.  There was a really long pause.  At that point I just told them that I really needed support and that’s what I got.  My daddy was listening in the background, and just to give a little background on my daddy, he is a little addicted to his iPad.  He is always looking at car parts on Craigslist.  I could hear him in the background asking my mom what was going on and he started looking at a map to find out where San Jose, Costa Rica was.  By the end of the conversation there was laughter and some tears.

Who would have ever thought that a girl from a small town in Arkansas would move to Costa Rica.  If you would have asked me a year ago I would have said NEVER but something has changed.  I have been feeling the need for change for a while.  At one point I thought maybe a new house or maybe we should reduce some of the kids activities.  I feel like we are in a tornado a lot of the time and we really aren’t that busy compared to a lot of other people.  I think I have been looking for a slower pace.  This is a pretty drastic change but here we go.

I am thankful for all the support we have received from our families but I know that they have their concerns.  There is a lot to be concerned about.  Is it safe?  How will we get by without help from friends and family? Is there good medical care?  What if we need to get back home quickly?  These are all questions that Nathan and I have asked some of our sources along the way. One of our biggest concerns was would we be able to take our dog, Blue?

I mentioned it before but I think that putting ourselves in a hard position will make us grow.  Not only as a family but as individuals.  One of the questions that Nathan and I asked ourselves when we were making this decision was do we want to keep on coasting through life here in Memphis or do something that takes some faith and trust in God and each other?

Why did I name this blog The Tightrope?  I am a little crazy about the movie “The Greatest Showman” and there is a song in that movie that really made me think of this journey we are on….. Its called “Tightrope.” Basically the female lead is just comparing this road she is on with her husband to walking a tightrope. You don’t know what may happen or if you will fall but you are willing to go in the journey anyway.

Leaving My Job

I LOVE MY JOB!! I love what I do and my clients. I take pride in what I do and I love making people feel better about themselves.  It was really hard to let that go.  I looked forward to that time with that client in my chair and I kind of have them held captive for a while to sit and talk.  My last week of work I had mostly my “regulars” in for that last visit, (for now.)

It was hard to let those people go.  I saw some of them as often as every 3 weeks.  My clients became like family to me.  I dreaded the day that I would have to pack up and leave.  My very sweet co-workers had a little celebration for me and I said goodbye to that part of my life.  Doing hair is a big part of my identity so I will have to fill that void with something productive.  I am hoping to volunteer at the kid’s school but I am not planning on doing hair in CR.